Nationals

NBA Capsules

NBA Capsules

LOS ANGELES (AP) Chris Paul had 30 points and 13 assists, Blake Griffin added 24 points, and the Los Angeles Clippers led all the way in beating the Lakers 107-102 on Friday night.

Kobe Bryant scored 38 points and Dwight Howard had 21 points and 15 rebounds for the Lakers, who lost for the second time this season to their Staples Center co-tenants.

Bryant carried the Lakers in the fourth quarter when they closed to 99-97 on his 23-foot jumper with 1:29 left. But Paul scored the Clippers' final eight points to seal the victory and drop the Lakers two games below .500. The Clippers lead the Lakers by 10 games in the standings.

The Lakers continue to struggle under new coach Mike D'Antoni. They've lost three of their past four games.

The Clippers shot 50 percent and dominated the paint, 52-36.

Bryant scored 16 points in the fourth, when the Lakers rallied from 19 points down. The Clippers fouled for much of the final 5:51. Howard missed two free throws but then made two to get the Lakers within four before Bryant's jumper left them trailing 99-97.

BULLS 96, HEAT 89

MIAMI (AP) - Carlos Boozer scored 27 points and Chicago dominated on the boards to become only the third visiting team to win in Miami this season.

Chicago outrebounded Miami 48-28. The Bulls had 19 offensive rebounds to four for the Heat.

The Eastern Conference-leading Heat fell to 15-3 at home. Their other home losses came against the Knicks and Warriors.

Miami's LeBron James scored 30 points, extending his streaks of scoring at least 20 points to 31 consecutive games this season, and 52 games in a row overall when including last year's playoff run. He has scored at least 25 in eight consecutive games.

The first meeting between the teams this season was a bruiser, and the Bulls repeatedly outfought and outfoxed Miami on the boards. The Heat had won four games this season when outrebounded by 15 or more, but this time the disparity beat them.

NETS 115, WIZARDS 113, 2OT

WASHINGTON (AP) - Joe Johnson's jumper with 0.7 seconds left in the second overtime lifted Brooklyn over Washington.

Bradley Beal's two free throws tied the score at 113 with 9.1 seconds to play before Johnson, who had 18 points, hit the shot that improved Brooklyn to 4-1 under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo.

Brook Lopez had 27 points and 13 rebounds for the Nets, and Deron Williams added 24 points and 10 assists.

Beal had a career-high 24 points. Jordan Crawford scored 23 points and Nene, who fouled out in the first overtime, had 20 for Washington, which lost its fourth in a row and is now 4-27.

After Martell Webster's jumper gave the Wizards a 106-104 lead to begin the second overtime, Gerald Wallace made a layup and Keith Bogans converted a three-point play and a layup for a 111-106 lead with 3:21 to play.

Beal hit a 3-pointer as the first overtime ended to tie the score at 104. It was the second time Washington extended the game at the horn. Nene hit a hook shot to tie it at 93 in regulation.

THUNDER 109, 76ERS 85

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Russell Westbrook scored 27 points, Kevin Durant added 26 and Oklahoma City bounced back from a rare home loss to beat Philadelphia.

Oklahoma City made eight of its first 10 3-point attempts in the second half and never trailed after scoring the final five points before halftime.

Serge Ibaka chipped in 15 points and 10 rebounds and Kevin Martin had 16 points off the bench for the Thunder, who haven't lost consecutive home games since dropping two of the first three to start the 2010-11 season.

Nick Young led Philadelphia with 21 points, and Jrue Holiday had 15 points and nine assists. The Sixers fell to 2-5 on their eight-game road trip, which started before Christmas and concludes Saturday night at San Antonio.

CAVALIERS 106, BOBCATS 104

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Kyrie Irving scored 33 points, including a pull-up jumper from the foul line with one second left, to lift Cleveland over Charlotte.

Irving had 14 of his team's final 16 points and 26 points in the second half as the Cavaliers snapped a three-game losing streak.

Irving was 10 of 21 from the field and converted all 10 free throws while scoring 16 points in the fourth quarter. He also had six assists and five rebounds.

Tristan Thompson added 19 points and C.J. Miles added 18 for the Cavaliers.

Ben Gordon led Charlotte's second-half charge, finishing with 27 points.

Ramon Sessions added 20 points and Gerald Henderson had 17, including a career-high four 3-pointers for the Bobcats, who have lost 19 of 20.

CELTICS 94, PACERS 75

BOSTON (AP) - Kevin Garnett scored 18 points before he was ejected for a flagrant foul in the fourth quarter, and the Celtics snapped a four-game losing streak.

Rajon Rondo added 18 points, seven assists and five rebounds for Boston, which had lost eight of 10 to fall a season-worst three games below .500. Garnett also had seven rebounds.

Tyler Hansbrough scored 19 points and David West and Roy Hibbert had 10 rebounds apiece for the Pacers. The Central Division leaders had won six of seven and nine of 11.

The Celtics used a 17-3 run in the second quarter to take control of the game.

PISTONS 85, HAWKS 84

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) - Austin Daye had a season-best 20 points and Detroit earned its fourth consecutive victory.

The Hawks, who trailed by as many as 19, had the ball in the final seconds, but Andre Drummond blocked Lou Williams' jumper at the buzzer to preserve the win.

The Pistons have won six of seven overall, with the only loss coming in double overtime at Atlanta. The second unit has powered the surge, outscoring the starters in several games, and the reserves outscored Atlanta's backups 41-14, led by Daye.

Josh Smith had 20 points for Atlanta, while Al Horford had 18 points and 15 rebounds.

TRAIL BLAZERS 86, GRIZZLIES 84

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Wesley Matthews scored 21 points, J.J. Hickson added 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Portland beat Memphis.

Rudy Gay's jumper from near the top of the key was off the mark, allowing the Trail Blazers to escape a closely played game that saw nine ties and 21 lead changes.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 15 points and 12 rebounds for Portland, while Nicolas Batum and Damian Lillard added 11 points apiece, Lillard also handing out eight assists.

Marreese Speights had a season-high 22 points and 13 rebounds for the Grizzlies in place of Zach Randolph, who missed the game with flu-like symptoms. Gay had 19 points, but was 8 of 21 from the field.

Marc Gasol scored 12 points and had a career-best eight blocks. Darrell Arthur contributed 10 points off the Memphis bench.

KINGS 105, RAPTORS 96

TORONTO (AP) - DeMarcus Cousins scored a season-high 31 points and matched his career high with 20 rebounds, John Salmons scored eight of his 20 points in the fourth quarter and Sacramento beat Toronto.

Jason Thompson scored 14 points and Isaiah Thomas had 11 as the Kings won their second straight road game. Sacramento had gone 1-13 away from home before winning at Cleveland on Wednesday.

The Kings have won six of eight overall following their second five-game losing streak of the season.

Kyle Lowry scored 24 and Ed Davis had 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Raptors, who came in having won eight of nine and a season-best five straight at home.

Alan Anderson scored 20, DeMar DeRozan had 14 and Jose Calderon added 13 for the Raptors.

JAZZ 87, SUNS 80

PHOENIX (AP) - Al Jefferson scored 21 points and Paul Millsap added 19 to lead Utah past slumping Phoenix.

Gordon Hayward added 14 points off the bench for the Jazz, who have won consecutive games for the first time since Dec. 5-12.

Utah was without center Enes Kanter, who sprained his right ankle in a win Wednesday against Minnesota.

Marcin Gortat had 18 points and 11 rebounds for Phoenix. Goran Dragic added 17 points, but only six after the first quarter.

ROCKETS 115, BUCKS 101

MILWAUKEE (AP) - James Harden scored 29 points to lead Houston over Milwaukee.

Harden shot 11 of 18 from the floor to go with seven assists and four steals for Houston, which has won 10 of its last 13 games.

The Rockets, who shot 54 percent from the field, also got 22 points from Carlos Delfino in his return to Milwaukee. He played for the Bucks from 2009-12 before signing with Houston as an unrestricted free agent in the offseason.

The Rockets' Jeremy Lin was taken to the locker room with 10:34 left in the third after the left side of his head was slightly bloodied after he collided with the right cheek of Milwaukee's Larry Sanders as the two scrambled for a loose ball near half court. He returned to the bench with just under 3 minutes left in the period and started the fourth quarter.

Milwaukee equaled a season worst by losing its third game in a row despite 16 points from Brandon Jennings.

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Can Nationals’ key six make it through three more wins?

Can Nationals’ key six make it through three more wins?

HOUSTON -- Going 1-0 is taxing.

Ask the Nationals pitchers. Just make sure to talk with the select few being used. 

Washington is trying to finish a World Series win behind six pitchers. Maybe six-and-a-half, at most seven, if Tanner Rainey and Fernando Rodney are included. No matchup guys. No bullpen depth. Just a formula of tying the yoke to one of four starters that day, then Daniel Hudson and Sean Doolittle when necessary.

The question is if those six people can make it through three more wins.

A few things have made this approach viable. One is the starting rotation being populated with guys accustomed to a lot of innings. Washington finished with two of the top five in innings pitched this year (Stephen Strasburg at No. 2 and Patrick Corbin at No. 5), in addition to Max Scherzer, who routinely leads the league in innings pitched. Another is a willingness to accept varied roles and workload in the bullpen. The idea of a “closer” has been tossed outside. A person to obtain key outs is inserted into the game at the most crucial -- and beneficial -- time. 

“I think it’s Huddy,” Sean Doolittle said when asked why the bullpen has worked this way. “I think when you have an anchor like that at the back of the bullpen, it kind of lets guys slide into certain spots in front of him. And when he can go multiple innings and come in early in the game with runners on base -- that’s tough. Not a lot of guys who pitch in that closer’s role are comfortable doing that. But he has experience pitching in so many different roles, he brings that versatility to our group.”

Corbin has helped. He came out of the bullpen again Tuesday to wipe three more outs away and help the Nationals earn a 1-0 series lead. He appears likely to start Game 4 in Nationals Park after pitching his “bullpen session” in Game 1 of the World Series. Among the questions for Corbin, and Davey Martinez, is if Corbin is available for one out Wednesday night in Game 2. Picture left-handed Michael Brantley up with two runners on base and two out in the seventh inning. Brantley’s career OPS against left-handed pitchers is 125 points lower than it is against right-handed pitchers. Martinez said he would speak to Corbin late Monday to see what’s next.

Doolittle was already prognosticating after Game 1. Tomorrow may always be just a day away, but it might as well not exist in this current formula.

“Regardless of the score, the situation, I think we all expected to be in there in some capacity,” Doolittle said. “And I think guys are willing to go multiple innings -- we’ll figure tomorrow out tomorrow. Stras is going to give us a good start and we feel good about having him out there, and he’s going to go as long as he can. We’ll piece it together after that. I think that’s how we’ve thought about it here for a while.”

And, is there enough juice for the six pitchers to handle the current day, eventually turning “tomorrow” into a parade?

“Oh my gosh,” Doolittle said. “Are you kidding me? YES. Yes. We just had a few days off. Us old guys got to put our feet up and rest a little bit. Then we had a couple really good workouts before we came down here. But, at this point in the season, you’re feeding off adrenaline so much. We’re all a little bit tired, sure. Not a lot of guys have been here before. This is the latest they’ve ever played. But when you’re out there, there’s so much adrenaline, there’s so much energy you’re just feeding off that so much. I think we are absolutely in a good spot physically and mentally for the rest of the series.”

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Legendary gymnast Simone Biles to throw the first pitch for Game 2 of the World Series

Legendary gymnast Simone Biles to throw the first pitch for Game 2 of the World Series

Gymnastics legend Simon Biles is scheduled to throw the first pitch for Game 2 of the World Series in Houston, Major League Baseball announced.

Biles, a Houston native, won four gold medals and one bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. She won the most gold medals as a female gymnast at a single Olympics in American history and became the fifth-ever quadruple gold medalist in women's gymnastics at a single Olympics.

This isn't Biles's first time at Minute Maid Park. She threw out an awesome first pitch for the Astros in 2016.

The Houston Astros brought in Brian McCann and Evan Gattis for Game 1's first pitch, both former Astros catchers and members of Houston's 2017 championship team. Between Biles, McCann and Gattis, it looks like Houston is hoping their first pitch participants can rub off championship energy.

McCann and Gattis did not bring enough good luck for Game 1, however, as the Nationals came out on top in a thrilling 5-4 victory to take a 1-0 series lead.

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